I resigned from a committee, because “Jeremy” kept trying to work his rackets on me. Let’s talk more about what that looks like, and how you protect yourself from it.
The first clue was that he kept interrupting everything I said. When someone does that, you know that they really have no respect for anything you are saying. Period.
You can point it out to them, and you can ask them to stop. Often they will protest that they are really listening. Don’t get sucked in. Unless someone closes their mouth and looks at you while you are speaking, they have no regard for what you say. And doing any interaction with people with no regard and respect for your opinions is pretty silly, don’t you think?
The other thing to watch for is a moving target. First they attack something you do or propose. Usually they use hot button emotions to do this. You respond and validate your position. They interrupt you and say something like, “But what about…”
What they are doing is changing the subject. They do this because they realize that they are wrong and you were revealing the flaw in their thinking. But instead of acknowledging that, or gasp – admitting it – they move the target and attack you with something else.
The other thing to watch for – and this is always the giveaway – is the absence of logic and reason. They simply can’t follow a linear discussion.
In my conversation with Jeremy he attacked my budget by making all these melodramatic pronouncements about how he was the treasurer and just protecting the interests of the league members. I refuted this logic – or more correctly the lack of it – by reminding him that I had a budget, was within it.
So he comes back with a rant about how when he was running for treasurer, some woman said bad things about him and one other Board member was campaigning for his opponent. This is the bait…
See most people would get drawn into that. They would try to justify the behavior of others or dispute the validity of what he said. I know better. I simply said, “That’s fascinating, but it is not relevant to what we’re discussing.”
“But it’s relevant to accountability,” he replied.
“Actually, no it is not. And it still has nothing to do with the topic at hand.”
I could go on and regale you with many examples of the ludicrous exchanges we had, but I’m sure you get the point. He constantly used these emotional baiting techniques that were designed to make me feel guilty, feel sorry for him, or throw me off the track of the conversation.
What these people fear more than anything else is logic. Because their behavior and tactics are all emotional, irrational and crazy. And you can never win with them...
So when you are in those situations, you have to do what I did. Walk away. And don’t be afraid to tell them why.
I was quite clear to Jeremy that I wasn’t willing to talk to someone who interrupts me constantly. I also told him that he was not capable of following a rational discussion and was using manipulative techniques that I found insulting. Furthermore I told him that he was inflaming the situation to satisfy his addiction for drama in his life. And I was gone…
Via con Dios baby. Go with God, just go!
My rules are simple: You must communicate with me with respect. You must tell the truth. You must not insult my attention with rackets, NLP, or other manipulative techniques. And you must be able to hold a rational discussion and separate logic from blind emotion. If you can’t do these things, we can’t talk.
This is a boundary I set for myself. And you must do the same. If you want to move up with your career and your life, you have to stop getting sucked in by crazy people. Create your own boundaries, and then stick to them. You’ll be glad you did!